John T. Willis

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. The traditional "First Thanksgiving" is the celebration that occurred at the site of the Plymouth Plantation in 1621, which occurred early in the history of what would become one of the original thirteen colonies which became the United States. This thanksgiving, modeled after celebration commonplace in contemporary Europe, is generally regarded as America's first. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Hence, this year, Thanksgiving Day is 26 November
2009. This celebration has been an annual tradition since 1863, and became a federal holiday in 1941. Thanksgiving was historically a religious observation to give thanks to God. The first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 lasted three days providing enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Indians. The traditional Thanksgiving menu often features turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. On the first feast, turkey was any type of fowl that the pilgrims hunted. Pumpkin pie was not on the menu because there were no ovens for baking, but they did have boiled pumpkin. Cranberries were not introduced at this time. Due to the diminishing supply of flour there was no bread of any kind. The foods included in the first feast included duck, geese, venison, fish, lobster, clams, swan, berries, dried fruit, pumpkin, squash, and many more vegetables.

Evelyn and I always enjoy and celebrate Thanksgiving annually. We always invite our family. Some come, some do not. We include families who are isolated. This year, so far we have fifteen people. Hopefully others will come. All are welcome.

Thanksgiving is the cornerstone of biblical faith. How can any human being ignore our complete dependence on a higher power=God? Paul asked simply: "What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?" (1 Corinthians 4:7). The ability to see, to hear, to smell, to understand, to walk, to breathe, etc., etc., is a precious gift of God. The ONLY RESPONSE to all of these free gifts of God is to fall down before him and be thankful.

Paul writes in Colossians 3:15-17:
"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were call in the one body. And BE THANKFUL. Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and WITH GRATITUDE IN YOUR HEARTS sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER through him."

In 1990, Dennis L. Jernigan wrote this moving song:

For all that You've done, I will thank You.
For all that You're going to do.
For all that You've promised, and all that you are
is all that has carried me through.
Jesus, I thank You!
And I thank You, thank You, Lord,
And I thank You, thank You, Lord.
Thank You for loving and setting me free,
Thank You for giving Your life just for me.
How I thank You.
Jesus, I thank You,
Gratefully thank You, Thank You!

We should all be grateful to God every day for all He continually does for us. I hope YOU are thankful to God. Share your thanksgiving with everyone around. God Bless You.

John Willis


  • I also like these verses from Deuteronomy as blessings on Thanksginving:

    "There in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you." (12.7)

    "For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete." (16.15)

    By Blogger April, at 4:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home